Examples of Past Units and Curriculum

The following are only a small example of past curriculum and programs that.  For greater detail or questions please contact Chris Brown at BWE.

Global Warming and Climate Change Refugees  (Middle School)

This unit focuses on the issue of Global climate change and the impact it is having on people who live in the low lying island countries of the Pacific Ocean.  This unit incorporates science, math and geography standards and while they remain in a classroom, students are interactive and circulate throughout the room.  It concludes with a variety of critical thinking issue the students are challenged to confront.


Paddling and Poetry (Middle / High School)

With a focus on Language Arts, History and PE, this unit explores the rhythm of poetry with the sounds and movement of paddling a canoe on a river.   Students spend a day or more canoeing down the St Croix River with stops along the way to examine the history and changes along the river.  At the conclusion students are to showcase their findings along the river in regards to history and change.  They must also include a variety of different styles of poems that reflect their findings, address the challenges they faced and articulate what the journey meant to them.   This unit can be adapted to many different rivers or lakes.  It is also seasonal dependent. (May - September in Minnesota)


Fort Snelling: The Beginning or the End (High School)

 This unit is an exploration of History, Native American Culture and non-fiction Literacy.  Along with field work trips to Fort Snelling, Fort Snelling State Park and Minnesota History Center, students look at Fort Snelling from two perspectives: the place where the current State of Minnesota got it's beginning, or the place that started the cultural and geographic decline of the Dakota Native Americans.  Students will read a variety of primary documents, journals and diaries along with one related fictional tale they choose from a list. 


The Olympics: What Does it Take to Carry the Torch?  ( Grades 3 - 8)

This unit is based on the Olympics and is best implemented during an Olympic year.  It combines geography (cultural, physical and political) of the host country as well as the history and culture of Ancient Greece.   Greek Mythology is explored as a Language Arts component and Physical Education focuses on Olympic events - primarily track and field.  This unit is approximately 9 to 12 weeks and addresses standards in Social Studies.


Study Connections: Cross Cultural Peer Tutoring  (Grade 4 - High School)

Based on the idea that all students come as assets to the classroom, and given responsibility, rise to the challenge.  This is an ongoing program that is based on a Service Learning model. Students who are native born English speakers are matched with peers who are non English speakers (recently arrived immigrant or refugees) and they work together on current homework assignments with native English speaking tutor helping with English vocabulary development as well as spelling and grammar.  These tutors are given training in how to do this.  They are also given time to talk about and explore each others' respective culture (through guided tasks).


Country Comes to the City - How do we Get the Food we Eat (Grades  2 - 8)    


With a focus on Natural Science and Math and Geography standards, this curriculum involves visiting a local farm and grocery store or coop.  Speakers from various aspects of the food industry are invited into the classroom as well.   Students explore a wide variety of aspects of what it takes to get the food we eat.  The unit culminates with a celebration  meal that has been planned, purchased and prepared by the students as well as  display of the projects and writings they have created along the way. This unit also may include the development of a school or classroom garden depending on location and capability of the school building. 


In Motion - A Study of Physical Science Through Bicycles (Middle and High School)

Biking is becoming more and more popular every year and the bicycle is an easy machine to demonstrate a wide variety of Physical Science concepts (from inertia to fulcrums).  With a primary focus on Physical Science, Physical Education is also a major part of this curriculum.  Students use their own bicycles (or donated bicycles from bike shops and second-hand stores) to see the practical uses of Physical Science concepts.   Students can also use bike parts to create their own machines based on the same concepts.  They also ride bikes during PE time if the school location allows or track their own bike riding in a journal.